Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Taste of Aloha Part Six: Guava Jelly for da belly

I encountered an amazing amount of luck when I stumbled upon a
vendor at the Sunday Claremont Farmer's Market...

We hit it up at the tail end when vendors where packing up and stuff
was getting marked down left and right. I grabbed some heirloom
tomatoes, onions, green beans, and squash-- Monkey-man got his rye
bread.

On our way out I noticed someone had a bucket of small greenish-
yellow fruits. As I got closer, the smell was unmistakable. Certain
parts of the year these trees with be laden with fruit, most of it
falling to the ground and rotting.

Guava has a smell that I cannot compare to anything else. Slightly
citrus-y, alcoholic, shampoo, tropical... Strawberry guava is an
invasive species, but near to impossible to control. We had a few
in our yard that kept coming back no matter what you did.

They would grow so incredibly high that it was dangerous if left alone.
After cutting some down in our yard, we'd pour vinegar onto the
stumps and still they'd come back.



Guava is extremely pungent. I bought a pound and while we only
had them out for a day, you could smell them everywhere in the house.
The skin is edible, similar to that of a fresh fig. The seeds are also
edible, but kind of crunchy so some people will spit them out.

They are delicious blended up into smoothies and juices, but just
be sure to strain them before drinking or you'll get seeds. The taste,
like the smell, is unlike anything else. I think of it as close to the
strawberry candy flavour with a tropical citrus twist.


Pretty much every where you go to shop in Hawaii you will find
some type of Guava or strawberry Guava jelly or butter.
Here I make both...

Guava Jelly for yo' belly

1 lb of guavas- I used a mixture of pink and white
3/4 cup raw sugar

Cut of the ends of the guava and quarter. Pulse through a processor
until the skins are blended. Push the pulp through a strainer with a
spoon or squeeze through a cheesecloth to remove the seeds. You will
get something that looks like melted ice cream.



Pour into a medium sauce pan and add the sugar. Heat over
medium-high, stirring constantly. Cook for about 15-minutes to cook
off some of the liquid and thicken the sugar.



Once it looks to be about the consistency of preserves or a thick
sauce, remove from the heat and either can and process or allow to
cool.

This makes enough for a 1 pint jar

First we allowed it to cool and ate it over toast and tofutti better-
than-cream-cheese.



But for breakfast I made it into a Guava Butter spread. I only made
enough for breakfast because its not the ideal health food if you
know what I mean.

It is basically 2 parts guava jelly and 1 part earthbalance. Melt
the earthbalance and stir in the jelly. Pour into a small dish and
chill or freeze until it re-solidifies.



I would try your local farmers market and ask around for where to
possibly find some guava. Better yet, if you have a mexican market
near by, they are almost bound to have guava!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Taste of Aloha Part Five: Hawaiian French Toast

The best sweet breakfast item you can fix for a local Hawaiian themed
morning, is by far the Sweet Bread French Toast. I helped you through
a vegan sweet bread, the rest is easy from there.

You can mix up a french toast batter with a few simple ingredients

1 cup of soymilk
1 cup applesauce
a few tablespoons flour
1 tsp cinnamon

macadamia nuts (opt)-- I used walnuts here because they are pretty
hard to find or usually expensive unless you're lucky!

You slice the bread nice and thick and soak in the batter flipping
to make sure each side is coated, than dip it in the chopped nuts
before dropping on to a heated/greased pan over medium-high heat.



The non-vegan sweet bread comes in huge long rectangular loaves,
but I had some abnormal shapes to use up here.



We also added some sliced pineapple to the pan to serve grilled over
the french toast.



Now if only we had some coconut syrup to top it all off...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Taste of Aloha Part Four: Kona Coffee Kahlua

If you're lucky enough to have been in my social circle in the last
couple months, you would know how I went absolutely nuts with
making my own alcohols. Now I was not planning on talking about
boozin' it up, but Kahlua is a standard in our house. This is a recent
thing. I got a bottle in a basket at Christmas and since Monkey-man
had a taste, there was no stopping it.

Only problem with Kahlua is that it can be damn expensive, so I
started making my own. Yet -- I will only make it with Kona coffee.

I first learned to make Kahlua from my Aunt Carole, who told me a
story about the first time she made Kahlua for her friends, co-workers,
and clients at a party. Apparently, some of the guests started
complimenting her on the hot cinnamon-like zing that followed the
sweet mellow flavour of coffee. At first my Aunt was baffled, but
come to find out the sweet sugary liqueur was bombarded by fire ants
and that was what was burning people!! I keep mine ant-free.

So back to Kona Coffee. Kona is located on the West side of the Big
Island and famous for their coffee bean plantations. As an avid drinker
of the joe, I've even gone and roasted my own coffee on the Kona side.
Hands down, the best coffee I have ever tasted was the peaberry at
Kope Lani on the main strip, Alii Drive.

The street is a famous tourist shopping area and their store front
sits right across from the breaking waves with an outdoor patio.
The coffee is smooth, dark and rich. A hot little sip of heaven.
Perfect for a little potion making.

Most Kahlua recipes you'll find require instant coffee--- lets not
go there. Other recipes require it to sit for at least a couple of
weeks. This recipe is ready to drink as soon as it is cooled and
strained.



Kona Coffee Kahlua

2 cups water
1 1/3 cups evaporated cane sugar
3 tbsp Freshly Ground Coffee
2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups vodka

Combine the water, sugar and coffee in a medium saucepan and
bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Using a
strainer lined with a coffee filter, strain the coffee syrup
you've just made.

Pour into a sterilized bottle and add the vodka and vanilla.


soymilk white russian


**NOTE** Since this recipe uses vodka, please note that the alcohol
percentage is higher than your average store bought Kahlua.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Taste of Aloha Part Three: Island Burger



Not too often we'll splurge on some faux meet and this time we
decided to go for some garden burgers, but I can't be satisfied
with just a plain garden burger.

So I took a tropical twist it this time.
Layered with some grilled bell peppers, fresh sweet pineapple and
topped with a delicious thousand island dressing it could not be
more satisfying. The pineapple and sauce play perfectly together!

Vegan Thousand-Island Dressing

1/4 cup vegenaise
1/4 cup ketchup
1 small diced pickle
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp soysauce
1/2 tsp tobasco
1-2 tsp agave
salt and pepper

add all to a tight fitting jar and shake and pour!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Miss Kitchen Witch at Animal Acres

Recently I did some catering for Compassion Over Killing's Vegan
School Outreach at Animal Acres in Acton. It was my first trip up
there, so I was excited to meet all the beautiful animals and explore
the facilities. It is about 45 minutes to an hour up out of Los Angeles.

I was a bit beat after cooking the whole night and morning before
we left. I also forgot how hot and dry it is up there. I haven't been up
that way since I was a teenie-bopper. Thank goodness it wasn't too
hot, it was just a perfect day to get outside and meet some rescued
farmed animals.

We started off on the tour and got to interact with the cows, bulls,
and donkeys. But we quickly had to get back and set the food up.
We did sneak a quick peek at the piggies that were passed out in
their cool hay.


I think this was Harley


He likes to nibble when he thinks you have treats


Honkey Tonk the sweetie pie


Bruno




Mr. Ed


tired piggies




prepping the watermelon


a little bit of everything

We made two types of Pinwheel Pizzas (Red sauce and tofurky and
Pesto), Roasted Potatoes, Spaghetti Squash Parm. with tomatoes
and basil, Italian style GreenBeans, and Traditional Italian
Chocolate Cream Cake. Everything was vegan and cruelty-free


Everyone digging in


Even the chickens want some


After the food we went and got to spend some quality time with
all the goaty-goats and sheep. I love goats, they are so blunt
and happy. No non-sense friends.


"ummm excuse me, pet me instead"


"no seriously, pet me instead!"

Sundance really liked getting scratchums


Almost as much as Cassidy


lil Squirt


Mike handing out the watermelon rinds as treats



We then went over and visited with the chickens and Turkeys
who all just wandered where ever they pleased. Unfortunately
we didn't get to see the ducks, geese or Emus. Next time!







We had such a blast and all the food went over really well.
I can't wait to come back and cook for everyone again!

These animals can live out their lives in peace and happiness,
unlike their captive counterparts who are caged away and tortured
until they are no longer productive by industry standards or fat
enough to be brutally murdered for vile consumption. It gives me
hope when I see wonderful places like this, protecting and rescuing
these beautiful and innocent souls from the horror and suffering
that is our food system.